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It produces poem-worthy sunsets and as much energy as 1 trillion megaton bombs every second [source: Boston Globe ]. All of this, and our sun is just a plain old average star , by universal standards. So, how close is the sun?
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And how much space does it take to hold 1. In this article, we'll examine the fascinating world of our nearest star. We will look at the parts of the sun, find out how it makes light and heat, and explore its major features. The sun has "burned" for more than 4.
It's a massive collection of gas, mostly hydrogen and helium. Prominence These are large structures, often thousands of kilometres in extent.
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They can persist for several weeks or even months. Solar flare This is a sudden release of energy. A flare is usually created when the magnetic field lines that make sunspots transform themselves rapidly into more stable configurations. This is a bit like a stretched elastic band breaking and releasing all of its stored energy as it snaps back into position. The energy released by solar flares strongly influences the behaviour of the solar wind. Sunspots These are temporary features on the photosphere.
They look like dark patches against the brighter region of the photosphere because they about degrees cooler and so do not emit so much light. They are caused by magnetic fields breaking through the photosphere of the Sun and cooling the gas there. Sunspots can be anything from a few tens of kilometres across to larger than km.
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Granulation These are convective patterns that occur in the photosphere. Each granule is about km wide and consists of hot plasma rising in its centre. As it releases its energy into space, the plasma cools and this makes it flow to the sides of the granule and sink back down into the photosphere.
Individual granules persist for about 20 minutes, after this new ones in slightly different places develop. Coronal mass ejections These are vast eruptions of billions of tonnes of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun's corona.
They travel out from the Sun at speeds of hundreds to thousands of kilometres per second, and if sent into the pathway of the Earth, can create geomagnetic storms. Register Now. More information about the IAC Back to top.follow link
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